Korean consortium plans to buy Hynix non-memory lines

Dec 17, 2001 – Seoul, Korea – A South Korean consortium led by chip design firm Aralion Inc. said on Monday it expected to sign a deal to buy Hynix Semiconductor’s non-memory chip lines next March.

Hynix is in separate talks with U.S. Micron Technology Inc., according to Reuters, for an alliance which could expand to a merger and expects specific proposals in coming weeks. A merger would mark a major step in consolidating the sagging memory chip market as Micron and Hynix rank second and third in output behind Korea’s Samsung Electronics.

Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG, which ranks fourth, said last week it had reached a preliminary agreement with Japan’s Toshiba Corp to merge memory chip units.

“We will establish a new entity called ”Beyond Micro Inc“ for the takeover with 20 billion won ($15.67 million) in paid-in-capital,” Aralion chief executive Jeong Ja-choon said in a statement.

The consortium will include about 10 chip design firms and was in talks with foreign investment firms and chipmakers to secure acquisition funds.

“We plan to secure $200-$300 million from each foreign investor,” the statement said.

A Hynix official said it was planning a separate statement.

“We (chip design firms) have sought to own our own fabrication lines and acquiring them will pave the way for us to grow as a world-class foundry like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp,” the consortium statement said.

It said it planned due diligence on Hynix in January and that its negotiations would be separate from Hynix’s talks with Micron.


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